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Guide dog helps paralympic swimmer regain zest for swimming, life

Posted at 4:30 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 23:20:56-04

A special guide dog has reinvigorated Anastasia Pagonis' zest for life and her swimming career.

After a devastating diagnosis and the loss of her sight, it was Radar that helped pick her back up.

Pagonis started losing her vision when she was 14 years old.

Her parents signed her up for swimming and she excelled, but when she lost her sight completely, she didn't want to get back in the pool at all.

Things changed once Anastasia received a guide dog from Puppies with a Purpose.

"Radar is my guide dog. He is honestly the best thing that has happened to me. I'm so happy to have him in my life."

Radar has also given Anastasia the confidence to get back in the pool

"When I got back in the water and just, like, felt the chlorine on my skin, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I knew that I was going to do anything I could possibly do to get me where I wanted to be. And that's Tokyo 2021."

Anastasia is now training for Tokyo 2021 with the Olympic Training Center

"I am so excited representing my country and showing other people who are blind that you can do anything you put your mind to."

This story was first reported by Keith Lopez at PIX11 in New York.